The Montana Parole Board recently recommended that a Canadian man on death row be denied clemency, saying "justice is best served" by continuing with the execution, reported The Associated Press.
Ronald A. Smith's case now goes to Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who could either grant or deny him clemency or make no decision at all before leaving office at year's end. Smith is seeking life in prison without the possibility of parole — instead of the death sentence he now faces.
Smith was long thought to be the only Canadian facing execution in the U.S., but a link to Canada recently emerged in another case.
Court records show Robert Bolden, on death row for killing a bank security guard in Missouri, has Canadian citizenship, the Canadian Press has reported. Bolden was born to a Canadian woman in Newfoundland and moved to the U.S. when he was young, reported The Associated Press.
The Canadian government, which does not believe in capital punishment, initially refused to support Smith, saying he had been convicted in a democratic country. It now formally supports clemency for him, in accordance with a long-standing policy of seeking clemency for Canadians sentenced to death in foreign lands.
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